INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 20 (Ticker) -- Grant Hill
spoiled the Indiana Pacers'
attempt at a memorable triumph.
Hill scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter as the
Orlando Magic held off a gritty Indiana squad, 86-83.
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Hill continued his impressive start to the season, making
10-of-16 shots, grabbing seven rebounds and handing out six
assists. He also did damage from the line, making 8-of-10
attempts, including a pair with 4.7 seconds left.
When Fred Jones
missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer,
the Magic had their three-game road losing streak snapped. The
win was just the third in 10 meetings for Orlando in Indiana.
Jones' attempt as the clock expired typified a gutty effort from
a team that had just six players available following the
suspension of Ron Artest
, Jermaine O'Neal
and Stephen Jackson
The trio has been suspended indefinitely by the league following
Friday's brawl in Detroit.
Indiana already had in uniform Jonathan Bender
, Scot Pollard
Jamaal Tinsley, but each was unavailable due to injuries. That
left John Edwards
as the only substitute and Pacers coach Rick
Carlisle had to play each of his starters at least 42 minutes.
"I'm really proud of our guys, considering the difficult
circumstances that we're in," Carlisle said. "I've never been in
a position where I only had six guys available for a game. I
think they played as hard as they could, but by the fourth, we
just didn't have any gas left in the tanks. It shows a lot
about these guys and the depth we have on this team."
"They played a great game and we weren't surprised," Hill said.
"We knew that, coming off the emotional events of last night,
they would put up a fight. We didn't know it was going to be
that close, but they came to play. They almost won it at the
Jones, playing a career-best 48 minutes, set a career high with
31 points, almost doubling his previous best of 18, set on
Dec. 12, 2003 against Atlanta. He was one of two Pacers
with five personal fouls.
"It felt like I was in high school or college again," Jones
said. "I love the feeling of the coaches calling my plays.
That's what I've dreamed about in this league. I'm blessed to
be on a team with great players, so my number is not going to
get called every night."
scored 16 points off the bench for Orlando, which
is 3-0 in games decided by fewer than five points this season.
The Magic were 10-14 in such contests last season.
Rookie David Harrison
set season highs with 19 points and eight
rebounds for Indiana. He made 8-of-15 shots and recorded three
blocks in 44 minutes.
"We went out and played with six people and were told to play as
long and as hard as we could," Harrison said. "We were not out
there just to play, we were playing to win. That's what the
game is about. Tonight was very emotional for us and we stayed
focused. The fans gave us a lift and were behind us from the
start. I am very tired, but I enjoyed it."
Teammate James Jones
also set career highs with 12 points and 12
rebounds, logging 43 minutes.
Neither team led by more than eight and Indiana held a 69-67
edge with just over eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
But Hill had six points in an 8-2 spurt that put the Magic up
for good and handed the Pacers their just their third loss of
"You can't look at it like they only have six players," Hill
said. "You have a tendency to do that, but we knew they would
come out and play hard."
"Our guys are behind each other. The guys on the bench and the
guys on the floor," added Carlisle. "Considering our situation,
I think this showed a lot of character for this team."
The Magic held a 42-32 edge on the boards, led by rookie Dwight Howard
's 11, but had 17 turnovers and missed 10 of their 13